Yesterday we talked about the hard assets that your business has. Those are the physical things that your business owns and/or controls. Your business also has soft assets. Some soft assets that your business has would include your and your team’s expertise, unique capabilities of your business, your database, your prospect list, your systems and even your vendors and competition.
What Soft Assets Does Your Business Have?
You can identify your business’s hard assets by wandering around your office or factory or by looking at your company’s balance sheet. But soft assets are a little harder to identify. Generally they don’t show up anywhere on your business financial statements. And because they are intangible (lacking a real physical form), you usually can’t find them by looking around.
Instead, you’ve got to spend some time thinking about your business.
Here is a simple 4 Step Process to get you thinking about how you can turn soft assets into real cash. The following is excerpted from “Smart Business Stupid Business” by Diane Kennedy, CPA and Megan Hughes.
List the assets of your business.
Take five minutes and pull out a pen and a blank page of paper to list all the soft assets of your business. Think back to one of the early-stage exercises you did back in Section One, where you asked your friends and colleagues to tell you the five things you’re really good at. List those traits and abilities as part of your soft assets.
Consider why your customers come to you.
What need are you fulfilling? What pain do you take away? What hope do you give them?
Make a note of your answer.
What service are you really providing?
You already are fulfilling some client’s needs and/or alleviating their pain on some front.
Consider other ways you can fulfill that need. Is there an information product that you can create and fulfill with your own websites?
What about people you can’t help? Can you refer them to someone else for a referral fee?
What other things do you current clients need?
The rest of Step Three and then Step Four leads you through taking those ah-ha moments you just had into creating a solid action plan.
One more tip: This is when a mastermind group can be invaluable. Just imagine a group of people brainstorming for and with you on just this issue.
A Good Mastermind Group is Always Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
Learn more in “Smart Business, Stupid Business.” The official launch date is March 23, 2010.